Sunday, 23 September 2007

Review: Parkers Porter

Parkers Porter from City Of Cambridge Brewery Company Limited
Rating: C+

Looks like cola in the glass. Little head, little retention. Bubbles cling to the sides of the glass. Smells weak, with some nut & caramel. Taste is cola-like, with some slight burnt character. Uninspired. Mouthfeel is light-medium, lighter than I was expecting. Carbonation is mild. Drinkability is low. I didn't want to finish the bottle and shared - which was met with a weak reaction. Won't be buying again.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 09-22-2007 23:07:50

Review: De Ranke XX Bitter

De Ranke XX Bitter from Brouwerij De Ranke
Rating: A-

Was happy to find this on my first trip to the beer store in Cambridge.

Appearance: Golden in color, a tad hazy (but I had walked it all the way across town...), exceptional head retention and lacing.

Smell: Hops: citrus, belgian yeast: spice.

Taste: Solid bitterness, with lots of Belgian yeast flavor. Finishes dry. Reminds me of my homebrewed Belgian IPA, but better.

Mouthfeel: Light-medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: high!

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 09-22-2007 23:03:40

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Bronze Age Beer Put to the Test

Two archeologists suggest that fulacht fiadh, bronze age mounds found in Ireland, were used for brewing ancient beer rather than for cooking, as previously hypothesized.

To prove their theory that an extensive brewing tradition existed in Ireland as far back as 2500BC, Billy Quinn and Declan Moore recreated the process.

After just three hours of hard work - and three days of patiently waiting for their brew to ferment - the men enjoyed a pint with a taste of history attached.

Three hundred litres of water were transformed into a "very palatable" 110 litres of frothy ale.

"It tasted really good," said Mr Quinn, of Moore Archaeological and Environmental Services (Moore Group).

I'm not sure how that "proves" their theory, but it sounds like a great way to spend a few days camping! They note that without hops, the brew was sweeter than they were expecting - I would add that after only three days of fermentation, there was probably a lot of residual sugar left that had not yet been converted. Perhaps their wives only gave them permission to camp out for three days?

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Review: Engine No. 5

Engine No. 5 from Pennichuck Brewing Company, Inc.
Rating: B

I left a box of beer that included this one in the garage for almost three months under less than ideal storage conditions - two of the bottles went bad in that time (unless maybe they were purchased bad?) so I'm hoping this one is still good - last one out of that box. Let's see, pouring into a SA Boston Lager pint glass.

Appearance: Deep ruby/garnet color, darker than I was expecting for the style. Head has little retention, but leaves nice lacing.

Smell: Light in aroma, almost to the point of wondering if lager yeast was at work here. A bit of light grain.

Taste: No hint of spoilage - I'm relieved. Caramel, sharp bitterness that's of the kind that's difficult to distinguish between hops and burnt, bready/toasty finish that's quite nice. Grainy aftertaste. Better than I was expecting.

Mouthfeel: Just shy of medium body, prickly carbonation.

Drinkability: Fairly well balanced, overall, and sessionable. Wish I knew the ABV.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 09-11-2007 22:56:57

Thursday, 6 September 2007

Review: Avery Anniversary Ale

Avery Anniversary Ale from Avery Brewing Company
Rating: B

I'd assumed that this was the current year's anniversary ale when I bought it, but I guess not.
Looks like a porter in the glass, dark brown with garnet tints, tan-colored head with mediocre retention and some lace. Aroma is surprisingly boozy - even more so than justified by this beer's 9.5% abv. Some light fruitiness and cocoa are also detectable. Taste is slightly cola-like in its carameliness, with some dark fruit and cocoa. Alcohol warming is noticeable for sure. Medium-full in body, good carbonation. Drinkability is moderate. Alcohol too much in the fore for me.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 09-06-2007 04:28:10

Review: Juju Ginger Ale

Juju Ginger Ale from Left Hand Brewing Company
Rating: B-

Appearance: fairly light in color, golden. clear.

Smell: Light, clean aroma, with ginger in the background - not as intense as I was expecting.

Taste: Ginger bite, ginger flavor, followed by.... nothing, a weak, watery finish. No hops flavor or bitterness to follow up on the ginger, no real malt character. Refreshing, I suppose, but left me wanting more flavor besides the ginger.

Mouthfeel: light-ish body, good carbonation

Drinkability: A fun idea, and more drinkable, perhaps, than SA's attempt at a ginger beer, but not something worth buying again.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 09-06-2007 04:23:45

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Review: Old #38 Stout

Old #38 Stout from North Coast Brewing Co.
Rating: B+

Appearance: Very dark, not quite opaque with brown hues. Good sized head, fair retention, some lacing. Good appearance.

Smell: a bit more fruit than I'd expect in the nose - not that that's a bad thing. Caramel, some cocoa powder and roast.

Taste: Profile very similar to the aroma just described, but with a good amount of hops bitterness as backup, and a bit of a boozy finish you can feel in your nose as you swallow.

Mouthfeel: medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: A very drinkable beer. Alcohol low enough to be sessionable.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 09-05-2007 02:43:19

Monday, 3 September 2007

Review: Brooklyn Brown Ale

Brooklyn Brown Ale from Brooklyn Brewery
Rating: B-

Purchased at Total Wine & More in Boca, poured into a SA Boston Lager glass.

Appearance: brown/garnet in color, clear, decent sized off-white head. mediocre retention. little lacing.

Smell: heavy in cocoa powder, malty. lighter than I was expecting.

Taste: malty, but not too sweet. same cocoa powder notes as in the nose. some nuttiness and a light hops bitterness. slight acidic edge. slight raisin aftertaste?

Mouthfeel: light-medium body, good carbonation.

Drinkability: Average.

Serving type: bottle

Reviewed on: 09-03-2007 22:47:45